MLB Little League Classic gets encore; Don’t stop tweaking

The MLB Little League Classic in Williamsport went so well during the Little League World Series in August that it seemed to be only a matter of time until a repeat performance was announced.

So it was hardly a shock that Major League Baseball announced recently that the Philadelphia Phillies and New York Mets will play at Bowman Field Aug. 19, the first Sunday of the Series.

And, as was the case this year, the participating players, coaches and families of the Little League World Series, as well as local Williamsport youth baseball and softball organizations, will be invited to see the game.

A big part of the first classic was the appearance of the Major League players at the Series games that Sunday and their interaction with the Little Leaguers. We would hope that will be repeated.

This year’s classic has some real local appeal. The Phillies are one of the two or three most-followed Major League Baseball teams in the region and the Williamsport Crosscutters of the New York-Penn League, the Bowman Field tenants, are one of their farm clubs. The Mets also have a following in the region.

The Major League Baseball union with the Little League World Series is such a natural that we believe it should be an annual event, period. Certainly, it fits in perfectly with MLB’s youth initiative which is geared to promoting greater interest in the major leagues and greater participation in baseball by kids.

If we were to suggest one thing, it would be for Little League and MLB to find a way to expand the availability of seats to the general public at the game. Officials need to look hard whether every ticket planned for Little League and officials was used. Could there be more temporary seating brought in for the left and right field lines at Bowman Field?

The classic is a great spotlight for our city and region and we are grateful to Little League and Major League Baseball for the opportunity to showcase the area. Anything that can be done to make a great event even greater should be explored.